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NAACP v. Alabama: When “Transparency” Becomes Censorship

NAACP v. Alabama: When “Transparency” Becomes Censorship

In order for civic groups to be effective, Americans must be able to associate with their fellow citizens
privately. People behave differently when they are being watched, and this is especially true when people are monitored by the very government they are trying to reform. The right to privacy is therefore essential to the protection of First Amendment freedoms. To understand the vital relationship between privacy rights and freedom of association, we need only look to the landmark 1958 Supreme Court case, NAACP v. Alabama.

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Did a D.C. Federal Court Fail the “Major Purpose Test”?

Did a D.C. Federal Court Fail the “Major Purpose Test”?

A recent opinion by Judge Christopher R. Cooper of the federal District Court in Washington, D.C. poses new risks for advocacy groups and their supporters. The ruling erodes a constitutional limitation on the power of the government to compel Americans speaking about policy issues to register themselves as political committees (PACs) with the Federal Election Commission (FEC).

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First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti: Protecting the Right to Hear Others

First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti: Protecting the Right to Hear Others

Can the government silence speech about an election simply because the speaker is a corporation? Can it deny voters the opportunity to hear a corporation’s views on issues? Forty years ago, the Supreme Court answered no in First National Bank of Boston v. Bellotti.

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SpeechNow.org v. Federal Election Commission: Protecting the First Amendment Rights of Americans

SpeechNow.org v. Federal Election Commission: Protecting the First Amendment Rights of Americans

If one person can speak about a candidate without limit, can Congress ban two, three, or hundreds of people from joining together to do the same? That was the simple question presented in the case SpeechNow.org v. Federal Election Commission. Fortunately, a unanimous 2010 D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals decision said no, such a limit would violate the First Amendment. Americans can now form independent expenditure groups to raise and spend money on campaign speech without limits. Learn more about this important case.

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Understanding Super PACs

Understanding Super PACs

You’ve probably heard the term tossed around over the past couple of years, but what exactly is a “super PAC”? These organizations have been given a bad name by their competitors – powerful politicians and media corporations – who previously held a monopoly on political speech. However, the reality is much different than what opponents of free speech would have you believe. Check out the Institute’s newest infographic to understand what super PACs are really about.

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Latest Updates

Washington Examiner: Gov. Steve Bullock’s nosy lawsuit to make the IRS collect more of your data (In the News)

Ethics & Public Policy Center: A Compendium on the Kavanaugh Nomination (In the News)

WDAY Fargo: 970 WDAY on Demand: The Rob (re)Port 08/17/18 (In the News)

Meriden Record-Journal: Markley, Sampson continue to fight SEEC fine after judge dismisses appeal (In the News)

Say Anything Blog: Free Speech Group Says Ethics Ballot Measure May Violate the 1st Amendment (In the News)

Slate: The Chance of Michael Cohen Facing Criminal Campaign Finance Charges Just Went Up (In the News)

USA Today: Money spent in Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation battle is good for democracy (In the News)

Analysis: North Dakota Ballot Measure Raises First Amendment Concerns

Analysis of November 2018 North Dakota Campaign Finance/Lobbying Initiated Constitutional Amendment

Kavanaugh Joins Opinion that Helps Ensure FEC Enforcement Actions Remain Free of Bias

Regulating the Internet: A Dangerous Trend for Free Speech

Be on the Lookout: Four Red Flags in Bills that Will Chill Online Speech

Four Constitutional Red Flags in State Disclosure Laws

NPR: Judge Shuts Down Multimillion-Dollar Loophole In Election Law (In the News)

Is Transparency in Government Always Good?

Republican National Lawyers Association: The Importance of Protecting the Privacy of Non-Profit Donors (In the News)

Washington Free Beacon: Self-Funding Polis Outraises GOP Challenger (In the News)

Statement on Dismissal of Markley and Sampson v. SEEC

CT Post: Joe Markley election violation case appeal dismissed (In the News)

Media or Not, the First Amendment Protects Your Right to Unlimited Speech

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